Car haulers keep watch as Ford considers closing several plants

| 12/6/2005

The American auto industry is reeling. Recent proposed cuts by General Motors and a similar announcement by Ford spells bad news for assembly plants in at least four North American locations.

And truckers who specialize in hauling cars and other vehicles from the factories are watching the situation closely.

The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg News reported Ford Motor Co. would announce as soon as Wednesday, Dec. 7, which plants are proposed for cuts.

Workers in Atlanta; St. Louis; St. Paul, MN; and Windsor, Ontario in Canada, are now facing job uncertainty following the initial media reports naming those cities.

A truck assembly plant in Mexico may also face cuts, Bloomberg reported.

At the same time, Japanese automakers Toyota and Honda are among those thinking about expansion in the U.S.

Bloomberg reported that as GM and Ford have dropped in sales by 3.7 percent and 4.3 percent respectively, Nissan has increased in sales by 10 percent, Toyota by 9.9 percent, Hyundai by 8 percent, and Honda by 5.8 percent in the last 11 months.

GM recently announced 30,000 job cuts by 2008, based on falling sales and rising benefit costs for union employees. Ford may follow suit this week.